RE-MAPPING NORTHERN LAOS TOWNS. Chiang Mai – Xam Nua & Return 13 December 2010 – 10 Jan 2011. 28 nights 29 days (quite a bit longer than I thought; & I think Happy-Go-Lucky was happy to see me return.) Distance 4,000 kms (not a lot, just pottering along taking photos & GPS-ing.) THE WAY Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai. 1 night. Chiang Rai – Houei Xai. 3 nights. Houei Xai – Luang Nam Tha. 2 nights. Luang Nam Tha – Muang Sing. 1 night. Muang Sing – Oudom Xai. 2 nights. Oudom Xai – Pak Beng. 1 night. Pak Beng – Oudom Xai – Luang Prabang. 5 nights. Luang Prabang – Nong Khiew. 1 night. Nong Khiew – Vieng Thong. 1 night. Vieng Thong- Xam Nua. 2 nights. Xam Nua – Phonsavan. 2 nights. Phonsavan – Vang Vieng. 2 nights. Vang Vieng – Vientiane. 4 nights. Vientiane – Loei. 1 night. Loei - Chiang Mai. DAY 1: Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai. A real late start getting away from the super at 4PM, so it was a bit of a rush up to CEI. I neglected to book a hotel room & my first 2 choices the Nimseeseng & The Sabai Inn were both full. The Sport Inn, had rooms & is good value for money @ 350 baht a night, but I don’t ike the parking set up there that much, which is why it is # 3 (for me.) DAY 2: Chiang Rai – Houei Xai. Depart 10.40AM Arrive Chiang Khong 12.30PM, just in time for lunch. Lunch was a chicken baguette + a coffee at the Tammila. At 1PM I was downtown at the Immigration office for the TM2 15 minutes later I was the port. Another 15 minutes later I was on the car ferry & off across the Mekong. 100% smooth. At 2PM I was in the Houei Xai Customs office having my bike temporarily imported. Counter # 5 is where you now do the motorcycle temporary import In another 40 minutes I was heading down town. Customs bike import + insurance all completed! 2.40PM was hotel check in at the OudomPhone2. 3.11 PM & I had cleared immigration, was stamped in & fully legal. 100% smooth. Was this my best border Chiang Khong – Houei Xai crossing ever? I reckon so. lots more to come.